Did you know there was a difference? I didn’t. At least not until I went to Oliviers & Co. in Boston and got an education from a knowledgeable sales clerk.
I have mentioned in other Olive Crazy articles that I am not a fan of infused olive oils. I always imagine that infusing is just a way of masking old, low-quality, or fake olive oil. I am a natural skeptic when it comes to adding anything to extra virgin olive oil, which I already expect to have its own sensory range. I apologize to all you righteous producers and purveyors of fine, infused extra virgin olive oils. I am skittish, but I assure you I will hunt down ‘the good stuff’ and give it a try.
So what is the difference between flavored and infused olive oils? It’s easy.
Flavored olive oils are made when the olives are undergoing the milling process, specifically when the olives are being crushed. The item that will be flavoring the olive oil is added at the beginning of the milling process and is crushed or macerated along with the olive fruit.
Infused olive oils are made by adding a flavoring item at any point after the oil has been processed.
I haven’t found where either of these processes are set in regulatory stone, or at a minimum in voluntary suggestions. If you have some insight for me about regulations or voluntary standards for flavored or infused olive oils, I’d love to hear from you.
May the sun shine through your branches.